Sunday, 28 August 2011

Cooking with Kurma Das - Great times with a Cooking Legend

I admit to being as excited as a little kid about going to Govindas Restaurant to attend a cooking lesson with Kurma Das today. In many ways, he taught me to cook as I my early culinary experiences began in a vegetarian household.  Kurma was a pioneer for vegetarian cooking in Australia in many ways - exploring different cuisines, techniques and combinations to develop delectable dishes that satisfied vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.  He has done a number of cookbooks, taught more than 3000 cooking classes, and a 26-part cooking series (screened on SBS).  His teaching style is informative, easy to follow, amusing and every dish and ingredient used has a story.  His classes are interactive, fast paced and you come away with lots of new tricks.

In a few hours a number of remarkable dishes were prepared, cooked in large pots with spoons the size of oars, by a group of enthusiastic participants that are finally relieved of their curiosity by being able to finally stop and dine on a magnificent feast.  

Here are a few shots of the work in progress - unfortunately being kept well-occupied in food preparation meant I was not going to be that 'snap happy-blogger type' and some when we sat down to dine. I've reproduced today's menu for you to salivate over below!

It was such a delight to have Kurma open my beloved copy of his "Great Vegetarian Dishes" cookbook to sign and noticing that it was a first edition printed 21 years ago. It has travelled wherever I have gone and it has been a constant friend whenever I have had vegetarian guests or just don't feel like eating meat. Just quietly, the eggplant pickles were to die for!! Definitely doing a batch of that up next weekend!


Vegetarian World Food Menu

Fragrant South Indian Hot & Sour Toor Dal Soup (Rasam)

Seared Chilli Panir Steaks served with Sweet Potato Mash & Rocket Salad

BBQ Asparagus served with Balsamic-scented Semi-dried Tomato & Macadmia Pesto with Grano Padano

Iranian (Pulao) Spicy Saffron Rice

Stir-fry Oven Roasted Cauliflowers with Snowpeas & Cashews served with Puffed Fried Wheat Bread (Puris)

Hot, Sweet & Sour Eggplant pickles

Anise-scented Doughnuts in a Fresh Berry-studded Yoghurt (Malopoura)

Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Introducing your Two-Legged Child to your Four-Legged Ones































Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Yeah I'm a Happy Hooker! Finding my Zen...

As some of you might know since early March I have been making a concerted effort to ‘down tools’ with my digital life and spending more time with creative and tactile pursuits.  The last few months have been a lot of fun and  along the way I have been teaching myself (thanks to YouTube) old crafts that I used to enjoy as a child.  I have purchased vast quantities of yarn, even some vintage crochet hooks, swapped yarns with a colleague and have even managed to ‘gift’ some of my creations. I have chosen ‘portable’ pursuits like knitting and crochet (I sew as well but not having my own space to potter around in and leave the sewing machine out means it stays locked away till I really need it).

I have learned a few things on this journey too:

§  There are many generous souls willing to share their craft;

§  Giving something to someone that you made yourself provides not only a sense of achievement but the gift is so filled with love that you can’t help but be buoyed by its energy;

§  The rhythmic nature of many handcrafts is wonderfully meditative.  My days are spent analysing, strategising or in mortal combat. Sitting quietly counting and repeating patterns with my hands slows down and regulates my breathing enough to achieve relaxation but still hold a conversation and watch something on TV;

§  The tactile nature of crafting is also physically stimulating – seeing something take shape, form, enhance colours, different yarn weights, textures etc;

§  Crafting with others – really is a wonderful way to spend time with people, it is relaxing and rewarding;

§  There are closet crafters everywhere! Take out your hook or needles and you will always find a willing conversationalist;

§  Craft for Good – my latest project (pictured) is an effort with a group of knitters in the office (of which I am a rusty novice) for the Born to Knit initiative run by Save the Children. Pure wool knitted squares are sewn together to make blankets to support babies and young children during cold winter months. Even my raggedy-Anne knitting might keep someone’s precious babe warm one night. Small warm fuzzy feeling;

§  Remarkably I have not found that many sandal-wearing hippies but definitely a number of hot femmes.

My cousin was so supportive of me teaching myself to crochet on a recent visit home and she begged me to make her one my hats!  I couldn’t finish them while I was there but it was such a joy when I got home to put together a parcel of two different styles which I sent to her. That was a few weeks ago now and there was much excitement when she got her parcel.  Just this week she sent me another really sweet note out of the blue saying thank you again and telling me how much she enjoys wearing them! You don’t need fancy job titles or flashy crap to feel appreciated and just may be that has so far has been my favourite lesson!

R xox

P.S I am still leaning towards more “Regretsy” rather than “Etsy” listings so don’t expect to find anything soon!

Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue